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Urban Influence on Costs of Production in the Corn Belt


  • Vince Breneman


This article determines the relative technical efficiency of rural- and urban-influenced crop/livestock enterprises in the Corn Belt. Farmers in urban-influenced locations are less technically efficient than farmers in rural locations. During 1998–2000, stochastic production frontier procedures indicate that a 10% increase in urban influence leads to a close to 4% decrease in technical efficiency. The most successful urban-influenced farms have controlled costs as effectively as rural farms. They have tended to de-emphasize that nondairy livestock activities—particularly beef and hogs—do not rely extensively on off-farm income, and have relatively large, less residential/lifestyle operations compared to less successful urban-influenced farmers. However, our statistical analysis clearly bears out the refrain in popular literature that urban proximity raises the cost for, and decreases the viability of, traditional farms. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Vince Breneman, 2006. "Urban Influence on Costs of Production in the Corn Belt," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(4), pages 930-946.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:88:y:2006:i:4:p:930-946

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    Cited by:

    1. Nehring, Richard & Erickson, Kenneth & Michael, Harris & Hallahan, Charlie & Katchova, Ani, 2016. "Heartland, Southern Seaboard, and Prairie Gateway: A Farm-Level Analysis," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235666, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge & Nehring, Richard F. & Erickson, Kenneth W., 2007. "Off-Farm Work and Economic Performance: Comparing Crop and Livestock Farms," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 9904, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Størdal, Ståle & Lien, Gudbrand & Baardsen, Sjur, 2008. "Analyzing determinants of forest owners' decision-making using a sample selection framework," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 159-176, June.
    4. Nehring, Richard F. & Peel, Derrell S. & Nulph, David, 2009. "Cow-Calf Farm Management: Farm survey evidence from 2007," 2009 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia 46672, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Nehring, Richard F. & Gillespie, Jeffrey M. & Hallahan, Charles B. & Sauer, Johannes, 2012. "Economic Efficiency of U.S. Organic Versus Conventional Dairy Farms: Evidence from 2005 and 2010," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119769, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    6. Gillespie, Jeffrey M. & Nehring, Richard F. & Hallahan, Charles B. & Morrison Paul, Catherine J. & Sandretto, Carmen L., 2008. "Economics and Productivity of Organic versus Non-organic Dairy Farms in the United States," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44415, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Nehring, Richard & hallahan, Charlie, 2015. "The Impacts of Off-Farm Income on Farm Efficiency, Scale, and Profitability Rice Farms," 2015 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia 196841, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. Nehring, Richard & Katchova, Ani L. & Gillespie, Jeffrey & Hallahan, Charlie & Harris, Michael & Erickson, Ken, 2014. "A Frontier Analysis of U.S. Poultry Farms: Developing Performance Measures," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162434, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    9. Nehring, Richard & Gillespie, Jeffrey & Hallahan, Charles & Sauer, Johannes, 2015. "The Economics and Productivity of Organic versus Non-organic U.S. Dairy Farms," 2015 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia 196805, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    10. Nehring, Richard & Hallahan, Charlie, 2016. "The Impacts of Off-Farm Income on Farm Efficiency, Scale, and Profitability Cotton Farms," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 230413, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    11. Qushim, Berdikul & Gillespie, Jeffrey & McMillin, Kenneth, 2014. "Productivity And Efficiency Of U.S. Meat Goat Farms," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162435, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    12. Zhang, Wendong & Irwin, Elena G. & Nickerson, Cynthia J., 2012. "The Expanding Ethanol Market and Farmland Values: Identifying the Changing Influence of Proximity to Agricultural Delivery Points," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124690, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. Mark Paul, 2016. "Farmer Perspectives on Livelihoods Within Community Supported Agriculture," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2016-13, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.

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